Rome mayor under investigation in judicial probe

Rome, Jan 25 (IANS/AKI) Prosecutors are probing Rome’s grassroots Mayor Virginia Raggi for abuse of office and false testimony and will grill her on January 30, it has emerged.

Raggi announced she had been summoned for questioning by prosecutors in a Facebook post late on Tuesday and was absent from Rome’s city council assembly on Wednesday.

“Today I received an invitation to appear (before Rome magistrates) over the appointment of Renato Marra as director of the tourism department, who is known to have been removed from the job,” Raggi wrote.

“I am extremely serene and as always have complete faith in the judiciary,” she said.

Prosecutors are investigating Marra’s hiring as director of Rome’s tourism department, which Italy’s anti-corruption watchdog criticised in December, citing a conflict of interest.

His brother Raffaele Marra headed the city council’s personnel office until he was arrested and removed from his post last month in a corruption probe linked to a 2013 property deal.

Raggi’s legal woes come just weeks after the Five-Star Movement to which she belongs said it would not require its politicians who are put under legal investigation to automatically resign.